Masterpiece Lecture Series: Robert D. Mowry and Arthur M. Sackler
May 24, 2012
Isabella Gardner’s collection was surprisingly diverse and largely influenced by her travels across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. These precious objects were painstakingly installed – and often in ways that might surprise 21st century visitors to the museum – with masterworks tucked into intimate nooks waiting to be discovered. Such is the surprising encounter we might have today with the magnificent Chinese Buddhist stele placed in the narrow Chinese Loggia, a poetic space that quietly transitions between exterior landscape and contemplative interior architecture. Robert Mowry, renowned scholar of Chinese art, will explore the dynamic between how this stele can be experienced today and how it was understood in the 6th century. Was it an object that was most significant to a Buddhist monk community and those who commissioned it? Speaking from the visual strength of the object, Mowry will explore the iconography and cultural influences of the stele and share his perspective on why this sculpture ranks among the most important Chinese steles in the West.
Robert D. Mowry is the Alan J. Dworsky Curator of Chinese Art and Head of the Department of Asian Art, Arthur M. Sackler Museum at Harvard Art Museums.
Thursday evening programming is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Museum receives operating support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Media Sponsor: Boston Globe Media, Inc.